Week Ahead 16 - 20 October 2023

The despicable terrorist attacks of Hamas against Israel; Establishing the Ukraine Facility; Effectiveness of the EU sanctions on Russia; Preparation of the European Council meeting of 26-27 October 2023; Commission work programme; Fisheries control revision raises privacy concerns; Better monitoring of Chinese fishing

The despicable terrorist attacks of Hamas against Israel

On Wednesday morning, the European Parliament in Strasbourg will debate a resolution about the despicable terrorist attacks of Hamas against Israel. The ECR Group unequivocally condemns the terrorist actions and war crimes committed by Hamas, which represent the biggest slaughter of Jews since World War II and is being coined “Israel’s 9/11”. Israel has an unalienable right to defend itself from these threats. The ECR urges for the release of all hostages by Hamas and for the return of the remains of victims. The Palestinian Authority’s silence is also extremely disconcerting. The ECR welcomes the European Commission’s re-evaluation of funding towards Palestinian programs, while it condemns Iran’s active involvement and Hezbollah’s escalating role in the conflict. The EU must adopt a firm stance, adding both Hezbollah and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to the EU terror list. With Islamist terrorism seeing a rise, Europe should also be aware that certain groups of asylum seekers, such as those in some Greek reception centres, express support for the actions of Hamas. Such support is clearly incompatible with European values and casts doubt on their ability to integrate into European societies. The vote will take place during Thursday’s voting session.

Debate: Wednesday @ 09:00

Vote: Thursday @ 12:00

Establishing the Ukraine Facility

On Monday, MEPs will debate the establishment of the Ukraine Facility (UF), which has three goals: Addressing the social, economic and environmental consequences of the war; supporting Ukraine’s resilience and the country’s gradual integration into the EU economy; and the gradual alignment of Ukraine with EU regulation, with a view to future EU membership. With a total budget of EUR 50 billion, comprising of loans and grants, the UF is designed to replace existing EU aid for Ukraine but does not cover humanitarian, defence, or refugee aid, which are financed through other instruments. It operates on the principle of linking financial support to the successful implementation of the reconstruction plan and to make payments dependent on the status of its implementation. The UF comprises three pillars: grants and loans, whose disbursement will depend on the implementation of the Ukraine Plan; investment framework, which aims to attract both private and public investments to support Ukraine’s reconstruction efforts; and technical assistance and other support instruments. The ECR Group is acutely aware of the need to continue to support Ukraine as Russia’s brutal and illegal invasion of the country persists. The Ukraine Facility will not only guarantee long-term liquidity assistance to Ukraine, but it is also a significant mechanism to support Ukraine’s modernisation process in the context of granting the country EU candidacy status. The vote will take place on Tuesday.

Debate: Monday @ 17:00

Vote: Tuesday @ 12:00

Effectiveness of the EU sanctions on Russia

On Tuesday morning, the European Parliament will assess the effectiveness of sanctions against Russia following its brutal war of aggression. The ECR Group would welcome concrete steps to use frozen Russian funds to provide material support to Ukraine and its economy. The current sanctions should also be made much more effective, as the Russians, in cooperation with some third countries, are constantly trying to evade them. Finally, there are still European companies doing business in Russia, a practice that should be stopped immediately. The debate will be followed by a resolution to be voted on at the November part-session.

Debate: Tuesday @ 9:00

Vote: 8-9 November part-session

Preparation of the European Council meeting of 26-27 October 2023

On Wednesday morning, the political groups will present their positions on the European Council, which will take place on 26 and 27 October. For the ECR Group, it is crucial that the EU continues to stand by Ukraine and provide it with all possible support for as long as necessary. Maximum support must also be given to Israel following the abhorrent terrorist attacks by Hamas. On migration, the situation is increasingly clear: ways must be found to effectively stem the flow. Agreements with third countries are an effective way of doing this. The right of asylum for those who are genuinely persecuted must not be restricted, but it must be possible to distinguish quickly between those who are entitled to asylum and those who have no prospect of remaining.

Debate: Wednesday @ 9:00

Commission work programme

In the debate on the Commission’s work programme for 2024 on Tuesday afternoon, the ECR Group will point out that the priority for the last year of the current Commission’s mandate must be to take all possible measures to restore the EU’s stability and security in key areas: military security, energy security, economic security and border security. Regarding Russia’s war on Ukraine, the ECR Group would welcome further steps to use frozen Russian funds to provide material support to Ukraine and its economy. More must be done in the short term to end the dependence of some member states on Russia. Put simply, the aim must be to have zero energy imports from Russia as soon as possible. In the longer term, the EU needs to invest much more in energy security. Nuclear power must also be part of the mix. On the economic front, the ECR believes that nothing would be more foolish than piling burden after burden on our industries, weakening their ability to compete, reducing employment prospects for millions of workers, undermining economic growth, while our main economic and political rivals continue to enrich themselves at our expense. Europe should not make itself poorer and weaker, and its competitors stronger and richer. For the ECR Group, the Commission – and indeed many MEPs – should remember that the best defenders of Europe’s shared, Judeo-Christian, humanist, European values are our Member States. That’s why the ECR Group will always stress the need to respect the core Treaty principles of conferral, proportionality and subsidiarity.

Debate: Tuesday @ 15:00

Fisheries control revision raises privacy concerns

On Monday evening, MEPs will debate the results of the trilogue negotiations on the Union Fisheries Control System (FCS). The text stipulates that EU vessels of 18 metres or more that may pose a high risk of non-compliance will have to have on-board, remote, electronic monitoring systems, including video surveillance. ECR shadow rapporteur Bert-Jan Ruissen is apprehensive about the video surveillance obligation because of the privacy of the persons on board. The vote will take place on Tuesday.

Debate: Monday @ 17:00

Vote: Tuesday @ 12:00

Better monitoring of Chinese fishing

On Monday evening, an own-initiative report will be presented to examine the impact of Chinese fishing activities in the world’s oceans. Estimates of the size of China’s distant water fishing fleet vary between 900 and 2900 vessels. However, there is currently insufficient information on the catches of Chinese vessels, the subsidies they receive and the content of the agreements China has signed with third countries. This lack of data is a major obstacle to the sound management of fisheries resources and makes it impossible to ensure a level playing field. For ECR shadow rapporteur Raffaele Stancanelli, the EU must plan real and concrete measures to protect its fisheries sector and the EU market, as well as global fish stocks. The vote will take place on Tuesday.

Presentation of the report: Monday @ 20:00

Vote: Tuesday @ 12:00

  • Email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter